The Spotify streaming music service has just launched in Australia. This should be cause for celebration and probably is great news if you aren’t blind or vision impaired.
The problem is that the software employed by Spotify is not accessible to blind and vision impaired computer users who use screen readers to use their computer such as Jaws (JFW) or Window-Eyes.
The software simply doesn’t work with screen readers and this means blind and vision impaired people can’t enjoy and make use of the Spotify service.
Now maybe you would cut a new company some slack and try to resolve things with them – maybe they didn’t know how to build their software properly to grant accessibility. However this is not the case with Spotify. Even though they have just launched in Australia they are not a new company and have been around for quite some time. Simply put they should know better!
For a detailed history of the accessibility issues with Spotify I highly recommend reading this blog article by a blind computer user in another country who has been frustrated for quite some time.
As you can see the situation has been getting worse not better. It is time that Spotify took accessibility issues seriously and talked to programming experts and sorted out their software problems.
I don’t know yet if I will bring a disability discrimination complaint against Spotify Australia but I am inclined to do so. It seems to be a great service and I would like to make use of it.
I personally hate not being able to use the latest technology and keep up with my sighted peers so Spotify’s attitude towards accessibility is very disappointing.
I will keep you posted if there is any progress and let you know what I decide in relation to a disability discrimination complaint.